Mike talks with Dr Andrew Stopyra about the role of academic study as well as historical and grammatical specificity. They speak about common mistakes that preachers make concerning Greek and Hebrew words and how proper study and waiting upon the Lord can come together and result in transformative and accurate soul stirring sermons.
Kuhrt, Amelie (1995) The Ancient Near East c. 3000-330 BC, 2 Vols. Routledge.
*Probably the single best overview of the history of the Ancient Near East, including Egypt and the Levant. However, be aware that she can be rather condescending towards the Bible when she discusses Israel, and of course some of her earliest dates will not coincide with a young-earth perspective.
Van De Mieroop, Marc (2015) A History of the Ancient Near East. Wiley-Blackwell.
Van De Mieroop, Marc (2010) A History of Egypt. Wiley-Blackwell.
Excellent, concise overviews of the history of each region. Not as comprehensive as Kuhrt but usually more affordable.
Kitchen, K. A. (2006) On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Eerdmans.
Massive study, more of a reference work than something you would read from cover to cover. Lots of excellent background information. However, an equally massive caveat would be his espousal of a low date for the Exodus (13th century BC vs. 15th century BC), which requires poor reinterpretations of many biblical passages.
Kitchen, K. A. (1975) Ancient Orient and Old Testament. Intervarsity Press.
This is a small reference work, not even close to his Reliability volume but nevertheless full of some excellent nuggets to help illuminate the Near Eastern background of the OT.
Foster, Benjamin (2005) Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature. CDL Press.
If you want to get some exposure to what the literature of Mesopotamia sounded like, this is the best volume on the market. An excellent collection of myths and various other texts that give you a feel for the literary milieu of the OT.
Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL)
A collection of Sumerian texts in Sumerian and English. Another great resource forexploring some of the literature of ancient Mesopotamia… which also happens to be free!
**Also, don’t forget that images of many of the important pieces in the great museum collections of Europe can be viewed online. The British Museum, the Louvre, the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin (i.e. where the Ishtar Gate from Babylon is displayed), etc.